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Computing regulations

The issues covered by these regulations are complex and you are strongly urged to read the accompanying guidance notes here.


A printer friendly PDF version of these regulations can be found here: Computing Regulations PDF

These regulations were approved by University Teaching and Learning Committee on 24th May 2016.

Regulations governing the use of computing facilities

The aim of these regulations is to help ensure that the University computing facilities can be used safely, lawfully and equitably.

The issues covered by these regulations are complex and you are strongly urged to read the accompanying guidance document, available at

This gives more detailed information that you will find useful.  Any user still in doubt regarding their use of the University computing facilities must seek further advice from IT Support before proceeding (email:; tel: 01484 473737)

Definitions used in these regulations

Appropriate authority refers to the Director of Computing and Library Services in respect of the general computing facilities and to the dean of school or director or head of service in respect of specific computing facilities.

Computing facilities includes:

  • IT hardware that the University provides, such as PCs, laptops, tablets, smart phones and printers;
  • Software that the University provides, such as operating systems, office application software, web browsers etc.  It also includes software that the institution has arranged for you to have access to, for example special deals for students on commercial application packages;
  • Data that the University provides, or arranges access to. This might include online journals, data sets or citation databases;
  • Access to the network provided or arranged by the institution. This would cover, for example, network connections on-campus, WiFi, or connectivity to the internet from University PCs;
  • Online services arranged by the University such as Office 365 and Google Apps, JSTOR, or any of the Jisc  online resources; and
  • IT credentials.

General computing facilities refers to computing facilities provided or arranged by Computing and Library Services.

IT refers to ‘information technology’, the common term used to refer to anything related to computing technology, such as hardware, software, networking, the internet or comporting services and support.

IT credentials means the use of your University login, or any other token (email address, smartcard, dongle) issued by the University to identify yourself when using the University computing facilities. For example, you may be able to use drop-in facilities or WiFi connectivity at other institutions using your usual username and password through the eduroam system. While doing so, you are subject to the Computing Regulations, as well as the regulations at the institution you are visiting.

Specific computing facilities refers to computing facilities provided or arranged and networks managed by a school or service.

University computing facilities means the general computing facilities and the specific computing facilities.

1. Scope

These regulations apply to anyone using the University computing facilities.

Every effort is made to ensure that University computing facilities are available in accordance with times published on notice boards and on web pages. In general, services like e-mail and web access are always available. However, the means of delivery might not be, depending on opening hours and the reliability of hardware and software. Occasionally, University computing facilities are unavailable because of system maintenance and upgrades; in such cases users will be informed in advance whenever possible.

Unless specific arrangements have been made, data is periodically removed under standard procedures carried out by system managers, for example at the end of a University session. Users must make themselves familiar with the arrangements in force regarding any data they store on University computing facilities.

Except as may be required by law, the University accepts no liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss, including loss of profits, damage, costs or expenses arising from, or relating to, acts or omissions of users of the University computing facilities, their guests, members of the public or intruders; neither does the University accepts any liability for any consequences arising out of the unavailability of University computing facilities and related services, or loss of data, no matter how caused.

2. Governance

When using University computing facilities, you remain subject to the same laws and regulations as in the physical world.

It is expected that your conduct is lawful. Furthermore, ignorance of the law is not considered to be an adequate defence for unlawful conduct.  

When accessing services from another jurisdiction, you must abide by all relevant local laws, as well as those applicable to the location of the service.

You are bound by the University’s general policies and regulations when using the University computing facilities, available at

You must abide by the regulations applicable to any other organisation whose services you access such as Janet, Eduserv and Jisc Collections. 

When using services via eduroam, you are subject to both the regulations of the University and the institution where you are accessing services.

Some software licences procured by the University will set out obligations for the user – these should be adhered to.  If you use any software or resources covered by a Chest agreement, you are deemed to have accepted the Eduserv User Acknowledgement of Third Party Rights.  (See accompanying guidance for more detail.)

Breach of any applicable law or third party regulation will be regarded as a breach of these computing regulations.

3. Authority

Authority relating to general computing facilities lies with the Director of Computing and Library Services. Authority relating to specific computing facilities lies with the appropriate dean, director or head of service.  These people are responsible for their interpretation and enforcement, and they may also delegate such authority to other people. 

You must comply with any reasonable written or verbal instructions issued by people with delegated authority in support of these regulations. If you feel that any such instructions are unreasonable or are not in support of these regulations, you may appeal using the Complaints Procedure outlined at

Persons who are not students or employees of the University may be authorised to use University computing facilities at the absolute and sole discretion of the appropriate authority. Those who arrange access on behalf of persons who are not students or employees must ensure that they are made aware of these regulations prior to access being authorised and that they can be individually identified.

4. Intended Use

The University computing facilities are provided for use in furtherance of the mission of the University; for example to support a course of study, research or in connection with your employment by the University.

Use of the University computing facilities for personal activities (provided that it does not infringe any of the regulations, and does not interfere with others’ valid use) is permitted, but this is a privilege that may be withdrawn at any point.  Individuals using the University computing facilities for commercial purposes do so at their own risk.

Use of the University computing facilities for non-institutional commercial purposes or for personal gain requires the explicit approval of the appropriate authority and can be revoked at any time.  The University reserves the right to levy charges in accordance with University policies.  

Use of certain licences is only permitted for academic use and where applicable to the code of conduct published by the Combined Higher Education Software Team (CHEST). See the accompanying guidance for further details.

The University is under a duty to prevent extremism under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.  It has a zero-tolerance approach to acts which could incite or promote terrorist activity including, but not limited to, accessing websites that might be associated with extreme or terrorist organisations and which could attract criminal liability.

5. Identity

You must take all reasonable precautions to safeguard any IT credentials (for example a username and password, email address, smart card or other identity hardware) issued to you. You must not allow anyone else to use your IT credentials.  No-one has the authority to ask you for your password, and you must not disclose it to anyone.

You must not attempt to obtain or use anyone else’s credentials.

You must not impersonate someone else or otherwise disguise your identity when using the IT facilities.

You must be prepared to identify yourself to members of staff on duty in order to help protect the integrity of the University computing facilities. Campus cards must be carried at all times when using the University computing facilities.

6. Infrastructure

You must not do anything to jeopardise the integrity of the IT infrastructure by, for example, doing any of the following without approval:

  • Damaging, reconfiguring or moving equipment;
  • Loading software on the University’s equipment other than in approved circumstances;
  • Reconfiguring or connecting equipment to the network other than by approved methods;
  • Setting up servers or services on the network;
  • Deliberately or recklessly introducing malware;
  • Attempting to disrupt or circumvent IT security measures.

7. Information

If you handle personal, confidential or sensitive information, you must take all reasonable steps to safeguard it and must observe the University’s Data Protection and Information Security policies and guidance, available at particularly with regard to removable media, mobile, and privately owned devices.  

Sensitive or confidential information should only be kept in a cloud storage service that is approved by the University and a Privacy Impact Assessment must be carried out before any such approval is given.

You must not infringe copyright, or break the terms of licences for software or other material.

You must not attempt to access, delete, modify or disclose information belonging to other people without their permission, or explicit approval from the appropriate authority.

You must not create, download, store or transmit unlawful material, or material that is indecent, offensive, threatening or discriminatory. The University has procedures to approve and manage valid activities involving such material; please refer to the relevant school committee.

You must abide by any University guidelines when using the University computing facilities to publish information.

8. Behaviour

Real world standards of behaviour apply online and on social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Blogger and Twitter.  

You must not cause needless offence, concern or annoyance to others.

You should also adhere to the University’s social media policy.  Guidance for students is available here and guidance for staff is available here.

You must not send spam (unsolicited bulk email).

You must not recklessly consume excessive IT resources such as processing power, bandwidth or consumables.

You must not use the University computing facilities in a way that interferes with others’ valid use of them.

You must abide by any local regulations concerning eating or drinking in open access University computing facilities.

9. Monitoring

The University monitors and records the use of the University computing facilities including for the purposes of:

  • The effective and efficient planning and operation of the University computing facilities;
  • Detection and prevention of infringement of these regulations;
  • Investigation of alleged misconduct.

The University will comply with lawful requests for information from government and law enforcement agencies.

You must not attempt to monitor the use of the computing facilities without explicit approval from the appropriate authority.

10. Infringement

Infringing these regulations may result in sanctions under the University’s disciplinary procedures. Penalties may include withdrawal of services and/or fines. Offending material will be taken down.

Information about infringement may be passed to appropriate law enforcement agencies, and any other organisations whose regulations you have breached.

The University reserves the right to recover from you any costs incurred as a result of your infringement.

You must inform the appropriate authority or a member of staff in Computing and Library Services if you become aware of any infringement of these regulations.

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